Online writing communities seem to be a tricky thing. It seems when the community is small discussion and friendships develop, but once it hits a certain number of members it seems to fill with self-promotion and the discussion seems to disappear. Or at least that how I have been feeling about the Google+ communities I am a member of.
In the past 6-7 months of attempting to connect to writers as a writer, I have periodically fallen off the grid when it comes to social media. When I hit a low point in my writing and needed inspiration, I used to go to my Google+ community and engage in discussion. Sometimes it helped motivate me back to writing, but at very least I enjoyed the distraction and interaction between myself and other writers. It made me realize that we all seem to go through the sames ups and downs and need not go through them alone.
The last couple months it has been a different story. When I have gone to the communities in search of inspiration or support, I have been met with self promotion links. I attempt to start a discussion on the posts get buried and go unnoticed, thus taking the usefulness of being part of a community away for me.
So as part of my goals for 2014, I decided I would take the bull by the horns and develop a kind of writing community I would like to be a part of. There is truth to the old adage “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. I am in no way saying the other communities are wrong and I still enjoy being a part of them, but I want something they can not supply.
My vision of a writing community is a place to go for conversation. A place were you can go to ask questions, feel out plot ideas, describe your characters, talk about your WIP, but not be blasted with link after link of people trying to sell their books or drive traffic to their blog posts. I realize the importance of trying to get your name out there, but there is also a place for interaction. My thought is if people are interested what you are saying in the communities they will go to your profile and see your links to your published books, blogs and other items of interest. Thus it benefits writers and readers a like.
If you are a member of Google+, please check out my new community, Writers’ Coffehouse, for writers and readers a like. Where readers can learn what make writers tick and writers can learn from each other and find a true following.